5. Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait- Beatty does not give the most complicated performance in this film, but it is a properly charming, romantic, and sometimes funny performance.
4. Laurence Olivier in The Boys From Brazil- Olivier is in an odd film, and in some ways follow suit with his performance, but still he gives a entertaining performance as well as one with some power when it is required for the part.
3. Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story- Gary Busey gives an effective performance as Buddy Holly. He brings the appropriate life to his character, without ever forcing a needless impersonation, instead appropriately personifying the character particularly in his scenes where he is performing Holly's songs.
2. Jon Voight in Coming Home- Voight's performance is a strong one throughout the film showing a slow change over time of his character who slowly finds ways to deal with the pain he has suffered. It is in many ways a low key performance, that realistically portrays the troubles of his character.
1. Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter- Although I think Voight's work is quite strong, for me De Niro stands out as the best of the year with the incredible challenge he in portraying the rather withdrawn character he must portray. De Niro realistically portrays this introverted characterization in subtle fashion, that never fails to bring out the power of any scene in the film that requires it. De Niro simply is great throughout and is absolutely amazing in so many moments such as the Russian Roulette scenes.